Maria Sharapova said Wednesday that she “most likely will not be playing” in this weekend’s Fed Cup matchup with the Netherlands.
“We’ll make the final decision in the next couple of days,” she said in a press conference.
If Sharapova does not play, and the Dutch upset the Russians, she “will not play at the Olympics,” the president of Russia’s tennis federation said in Russian last week, according to Agence France-Presse’s translation of a Russian news agency TASS report.
Sharapova said after losing in last week’s Australian Open quarterfinals that she didn’t plan to play again until March due to a forearm injury that she’s dealt with since before she was named to the initial Fed Cup team earlier in January.
Sharapova remains part of the Russian Fed Cup team this week, which would fulfill her Olympic eligibility requirement even if she does not play against the Dutch, per the International Tennis Federation.
But Russia’s tennis federation president has a different view.
“If Sharapova wants to compete at the Olympics she has to play for Russia in the Fed Cup,” Shamil Tarpishchev said, according to AFP. “That’s the rule, and she needs either to play against Netherlands or in Russia’s next Fed Cup match if we manage to go through.”
Russia’s next Fed Cup match, win or lose, will be in April.